A geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) is a woven fabric-like material, primarily used for the lining of landfills. It is a kind of geomembrane and geosynthetic, which incorporates a bentonite or other clay, which has a very low hydraulic conductivity. The resulting lower permeability slows the rate of seepage out of the landfill. Due to environmental laws, any seepage from landfills must be collected and properly disposed of, otherwise contamination of the surrounding ground water could cause major environmental and/or ecological problems.
The lower the hydraulic conductivity the more effective the GCL will be at retaining seepage inside of the landfill. Bentonite composed predominantly (>70%) of Montmorillonite or other expansive clays, are preferred and most commonly used in GCLs. A general GCL construction would consist of two layers of geosynthetics needle punched together enclosing a layer of processed sodium bentonite.
Typically, woven and/or non-woven textile geosynthetics are used, however polyethylene or geomembrane layers or geogrid geotextiles materials have also been incorporated into the design or in place of a textile layer to increase strength.